Cubs Minor League Spring Training Game Recap

Wilson, Cease, and Hudson Star at Minor League Camp

CF D. J. Wilson (Cubs 2015 4th round draft pick - Canton South HS - Canton, OH) tripled and singled and scored two runs, 6'8 LHP Bryan Hudson (Cubs 2015 3rd round draft pick - Alton HS - Alton, IL) tossed 4.1 IP of one hit shutout ball with a 10/1 GO/AO, and Cubs top pitching prospect fireballin' RHSP Dylan Cease (Cubs 2014 6th round draft pick - Milton HS - Milton, GA) hurled four innings of one-run/one hit ball, in Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Wednesday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after 11-1/2 innings of play with the score tied 2-2. 

Shane Victorino (calf strain) continued his rehab, playing LF for six innings and going 0-3 at the plate (4-3, 4-3, 5-3). 

Ex-KC closer RHP Aaron Crow (signed by the Cubs to a minor league contract prior to the start of Spring Training) made his first game appearance since undergoing TJS last April, throwing 1.2 IP (19 pitches - 12 strikes) and allowing one hit and an unearned run with a 4/0 GO/AO.  

Ex-HOU RHRP Jake Buchanan made his first game appearance in a Cub uniform since being signed to a minor league contract last week, throwing 1.2 IP (21 pitches) while surrendering a run (earmed) on two hits (a triple and an RBI single) and a 3/0 GO/AO.

In Minor League Camp roster news, 3B-1B  Blake Headley (Cubs 2015 20th round draft pick - U. of Nebraska) has retired. Also, INF-OF David Bote was assigned to Myrtle Beach (where either he or Erick Castillo will likely initially be inactive, but available to be reinstated when needed), and LHP Jeffry Antigua has been assigned to Extended Spring Training (he was previously with the Iowa squad at Minor League Camp) and will be available to respond whenever needed on a moment's notice to any of the Cubs four full-season afiliates.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

Victorino Continues to Rake & Run at Riverview

Shane Victorino (calf strain) drilled a line-drive double into the left-field corner and scored and blooped a single to center and stole a base, Kelly Dugan slugged a solo home run, and RHSP Kyle Miller hurled 3.1 IP of one-hit shutout ball, in a Minor League Camp intrasquad game played this morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after 7-1/2 innings of play. 

Victorino played RF for four innings and batted three times (2B, 1-3, 1B). He is running OK, and in addition to stealing a base (he also stole a base yesterday), he even tried to lay down a bunt single (he was retired 1-3 on a nice play by pitcher Manny Rondon). 

No sign of Javy Baez on the field today. Baez was beaned on the helmet by a Tyler Skulina fastball yesterday (although he did not appear to be seriously injured and left the field under his own power, he did go directly to the clubhouse, presumably to be tested for a concuussion).  
 
Here is the box score from today's game:

Baez and Victorino in Action at Riverview

Shane Victorino (calf strain) singled twice and doubled and Javy Baez (thumb contusion) belted an RBI double and scored a run in Minor League Camp intrasquad game action this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Cubs Tie Bees While 66ers Blank Pelicans at Diablo

Matt Rose belted an RBI double, singled, and stole a base, Eloy Jimenez singled twice and scored a run, and Justin Steele and Kyle Twomey combined to toss a five-hitter for the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs), while Michael Pierson ripped an RBI single and walked and SP Joe Gatto fanned seven in 4.1 IP for the Burlington Bees (Lo-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels), as the Bees and Cubs played to a 1-1 tie on Field #4, and Trever Allen drove-in two runs with a SF and an RBI double and Jake Jewell and four relievers combined to hurl a four-hit shutout, as the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Hi-A affiliate) blanked the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 3-0 on Field #7, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action this morning at the Diablo Stadium Complex in Tempe, AZ.  

It was a "bullpen day" for Myrtle Beach, as six Pelican relievers threw in the game on Field #7.  

Four position players (INF David Bote, C-1B Alberto Mineo, OF Kevonte Mitchell, and INF Sutton Whiting) were moved-up from the Eugene/Mesa group (Extended Spring Training) for the day, providing additional roster depth for the Pelicans and SB-Cubs. 

In Minor League Camp roster news, INF Danny Lockhart has been moved-down to Myrtle Beach from AA Tennessee. (Lockhart spent the 2015 season at Myrtle Beach). 

Cubs Minor League Camp Rosters
Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart 
(both updated daily) 

Still waiting for final minor league roster cuts, moves, and adjustments, although several pitchers and position players presently on the Iowa, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend active lists will likely be temporarily assigned to Eugene (AKA "Extended Spring Training") for a few days until further disposition can be determined. Last year, about a dozen pitchers and position players were left behind at EXST simply because there was no room for them on a full-season club's Opening Day roster, but the Cubs did not want to release them, either.     

Also, the Cubs will likely assign one position player (typically either a back-up catcher or multi-postional utility-type player) to each of the four full-season affiliates as a "player-coach," with the player inactive (usually by being placed on the club's 7-day DL with some vague soft-tissue injury) but staying in playing shape so that he can be activated in case another player goes on the DL. Last year, IF-OF Jonathan Mota (Iowa), C Tyler Pearson (Tennessee), C-1B Alberto Mineo (Myrtle Beach), and C Erick Castillo (South Bend) were the player-coaches for the four full-season teams, and RHP Jose Zapata (who was unable to pitch due to a broken neck suffered in a car crash post-2013) served as a player-coach (assistant pitching coach) with the short-season AZL Cubs.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played today at Diablo (Cubs players only): 

Eloy, Happ, Freitas, and Carhart Go Yard at Minor League Camp

Eloy Jimenez belted a two-run 1st inning home run, P. J. Higgins collected four hits (three singles and a triple), scored a run, and drove-in another, and SP Preston Morrison tossed five innings of shutout ball, leading the South Bend Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Field #4, and David Freitas clubbed a two-run 1st inning HR (his second round-tripper in two days) and Billy McKinney drilled a tie-breaking RBI single in the 6th, as the Tennessee Smokies edged the Iowa Cubs 3-2 on Field #6, in Minor League Camp game action Friday morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Ian Happ smacked a solo HR for Myrtle Beach in a losing cause on Field #4, and Ben Carhart hammered a solo home run in a losing cause for Iowa on Field #6. (Carhart was temporarily moved-up to the Iowa squad from Tennessee because the three catchers assigned to Iowa are in Las Vegas with the parent club). 

The game on Field #6 was called after seven innings of play. 

There were a number of roster moves made at Minor League Camp prior to the two games, with the Opening Day rosters of the four full-season clubs (particularly regarding position players and starting pitchers) becoming a bit more clear. There are still a few more moves/cuts to be made, however, especially involving the AAA Iowa and Hi-A Myrtle Beach bullpens and the Iowa outfield, and it's always possible that some of the assignments could be changed at the last minute due to injuries or other factors.     

Cubs Minor League Camp Rosters
Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart 
(both updated daily) 

Also, 18 players who are assigned to the Cubs Dominican Acdemy but who were not invited to Minor League Camp will be attending Extended Spring Training and will be arriving over the next several days. The first three (LHP Pablo Ochoa, LHP Eugenio Palma, and RHP Andri Rondon) arrived today. Ochoa and A. Rondon attended Instructs in Mesa last Fall, but Palma is making his U. S. debut. 

Here are the box scores from the two games: 

Lackey Sharp at Riverview

Eloy Jimenez knocked-in two runs with a 1st inning RBI double and a 9th inning RBI single, Andruw Monasterio ripped a single and an RBI double, scored a run, and stole a base, and Donnie Dewees tripled, walked, and scored, helping the South Bend Cubs edge the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5-4 on Field #4, and David Freitas singled twice, walked, and smacked a two-run HR, Matt Murton drilled a two-run double, singled twice, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored a run, Juan Carlos Perez tripled twice, drove-in a run, and scored another, and Jeimer Candelario walked four times, leading the Iowa Cubs to an 8-2 victory over the Tennessee Smokies on Field #6, in Minor League Camp doubleheader action Thursday morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

RHSP John Lackey was left behind in Mesa when the Cubs departed for Las Vegas, and so he got the start for Iowa on Field #6. The big right-hander worked seven innings (100 pitches - 62 strikes), allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits (four singles and a double) and a walk, with eight strikeouts (five swinging), and a 7/5 GO/AO. At one point he retired eleven in a row.

Miguel Montero served as Lackey's catcher, and went 0-3 at the plate (a FO, an inning-ending GIDP, and a K-swinging on what was a nine-pitch AB) and 0-3 CS (with one throwing error), but he did pick a runner off 2nd base.  

Billy McKinney hammered a double and a triple in a losing cause for Tennessee.

RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng had a rough outing for the Smokies on Field #6, allowing ten hits (including two triples and a double) and four walks in 4.1 IP. 

The game on Field #4 was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work. 

Because the MLB Cubs took a number of minor leaguers with them to Vegas, several players were temporariliy moved-up from a lower level group to augment the rosters of the four squads playing at Riverview.

Here are the box scores from the two games: 

Kalish Pinch Shot Perfect Elixir for I-Cubs at Fitch

Ryan Kalish launched a lead-off moon-shot pinch-hit home run over the right-centerfield fence and Bijan Rademacher and Willson Contreras contributed RBI singles later in the inning, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) scored three in the 8th to break a 1-1 tie and went on to defeat the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate) 4-2 on Field #4, and RHSP Daniel Mengden hurled five innings of one-hit shutout ball with seven strikeouts, Bret Vertigan tripled, singled, walked, and scored three runs, and James Harris drove-in three runs with an RBI double and a two-run single, helping the Midland Rockhounds (A's AA affiliate) blank the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) 6-0 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Tuesday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Willson Contreras collected three hits, scored a run, knocked-in a run, and stole a base, Albert Almora Jr singled, doubled, and walked, and SP Drew Rucinski retired 12 of the first 14 men he faced for the I-Cubs on Field #4. 

The game on Field #4 was called after 8-1/2 innings of play.

RHSP Brad Markey had a rough outing for Tennessee on Field #3, allowing five runs on seven hits (five singles, a double, and a triple) and two walks (and no strikeouts) in 4.1 IP. 

The Smokies were playing short-handed (four of their guys were assigned to the MLB game at Sloan Park), so four players (OF Luis Ayala, SS Andruw Monasterio, 1B Jose Paniagua, and 2B Edgar Rondon) were moved-up to the Tennessee squad for the day from Eugene/Mesa (the Extended Spring Training group).  

Ex-Cub LHP Felix Doubront (currently the Oakland A's #5 starter) came down to Fitch Park from HoHoKam and got the start for Nashville. He worked 3.2 IP and did not allow a run, but he surrendered three hits and three walks along the way, and he needed 81 pitches (of which only 54% were strikes) to record the eleven outs.    

John Arguello (Cubs Den) was at Riverview Park for the Lo-A/Hi-A games, and he has game notes and some great pics from there: 

link 

And here are the abridged box scores from the AA/AAA games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only): 

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  • I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.

    Charlie 1 hour 7 min ago view
  • ...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?

    :(

    2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.

    crunch 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.

    crunch 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • Wow in deed.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
    Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game

    ...wow

    he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.

    crunch 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 30 min ago view
  • At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.

    johann 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.

    he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.

    crunch 5 hours 28 min ago view
  • Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?

    "The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."

    John Beasley 5 hours 41 min ago view
  • Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.

    Charlie 6 hours 12 min ago view
  • seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.

    crunch 6 hours 28 min ago view
  • I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.

    Charlie 10 hours 22 min ago view
  • I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.

    Charlie 10 hours 26 min ago view
  • Cardinals, stop that. Right now.

    billybucks 11 hours 20 min ago view
  • In a year or two, a lot of fans are going to point at trading him as a mistake. He'll probably be slashing something like 280/400/480 for Seattle at the time. Of course, by WAR, he'll still be worth less than 3, since we're talking zero defensive value.

    John Beasley 12 hours 23 min ago view
  • vogelbomb debut for tacoma (AAA SEA)... 3-3, 1bb, 1 HR, 1 double...DH'd.

    while he mostly played 1st considerably more than DH for AAA CHC, DJ Peterson is probably going to see most of the time at 1st for AAA SEA.

    crunch 20 hours 49 min ago view